The Ruby Neal: Port, Gin, Falernum, Triple Sec, Lemon

It's my birthday, so I did what any self-respecting cocktail aficionado would do: I created my own cocktail. After I made it, my wife tried it and said, "That is a Ruby Neal." And so it is.

To make the Ruby Neal cocktail, combine with ice:
and strain into a chilled glass.

It's an easy drink, perfect for summer, but one that packs a punch, as well. As cocktails go, it's between something savory and sweet, and contains elements of both. All of the sugar comes from the triple sec, port, and falernum, which is enough. Don't add any simple syrup or anything like that, for it will become over sweet.

When it's 99 degrees outside at 10 PM, as it is in Houston this June 25, this cocktail seems just right. The port and falernum add the right amount of spicy notes, and the lemon and triple sec mellow it out. The gin is there to add some floral notes, but mainly to pack a meaner punch and give it more body.

A perfect birthday cocktail for myself: the Ruby Neal.